Turkey has had a long history with Europe and the European Union that stretches back many years. In 1952, Turkey joined the United States and most of Western Europe in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Turkey would look at this as the first step toward European acceptance, which had been so important to the country's founder and hero, Kemal Ataturk. It would become an associate member of the Western European Union. As early as 1959, Turkey tried to gain entrance into what is now the European Union, then known as the European Economic Community (EEC). Under the Ankara Agreement of 1963, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC. Denied entrance into the European Union in 1987, Turkey still continued to push for membership. The next pivotal moment came in 1996 when Turkey was admitted into the European Union's Customs Union. However, it was disappointed a year later when Turkey was not listed as part of the European Union's plans for enlargement. Finally, in 1999 at the Helsinki summit, Turkey was named as a candidate country. This meant that Turkey was one step away from starting the accession process and realizing its goal of becoming a recognized member of Europe.
Requirements to Join the European Union
The European Union has specific yet numerous qualifications that must be met before accession. The European Council set the criteria for accession in June of 1993. It stated first that a country must have strong democratic institutions, including the rule of law and a guarantee of civil rights. A viable economic market must exist, along with evidence that the economy of the applicant country can compete with those already in the EU. Al...
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Heper, Metin. Historical Dictionary of Turkey. 2nd ed. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2002.
??EU Enlargement Commissioner Says Turkey Giving ?Mixed Picture,? ? AFX.? Com, Oct. 27 (2003).? Academic Search Premier Databas? Lexis-Nexis (29 October 2003).
?EU/Turkey: Euro 145 Million Pre-Accession Aid Package Granted to ? Ankara,? European Report, Oct. 29 (2003).? Academic Search Premier? Database, Lexis-Nexis (29 October 2003).
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